Tag Archives: DoveTales

Writing for Peace News, August 5th, 2019

Writing for Peace News

DoveTales Online

DoveTales Online, One World, One People went live on August 1st. Find work from our panel of advisers, emerging, and award-winning writers and artists, as well as the winning stories, poems and essays from our 2019 Young Writers Contest. Stats confirm we’re reaching a much broader audience online. We’re also sharing DoveTales pieces on our Facebook page, so keep and eye out for them!

Now Reading for February Issue of DoveTales Online

The reading period for our next DoveTales Online, Guest Edited by Writing for Peace Adviser, Robert Kostuck is now open. He has themed our February issue, “Gardens in the Desert: Cultivating Awareness.”

In a world where mass shootings have become commonplace, where  politicians and their supporters revel in violent and divisive rhetoric, where television sets and the internet spew hate-filled propaganda, awareness can seem like an oasis in the desert. How will we cultivate gardens of empathy, compassion, and common sense in these barren deserts?

2019 Writing for Peace Online Youth Summit

Now accepting submissions for the Youth Summit here.

Theme: Day By Day, Hand in Hand: Seeing & Creating Peace in Daily Action

This year’s summit will focus on the power of individual, community,  and grassroots activism, exploring what we as individuals can do in our day to day lives to work toward the peace we all desire and deserve.

Join young artists, writers, and activists from around the world in conversation about the matters you care about in this online gathering. Our keynotes, young people making significant change in the world, and submitted creative work from participants, invite open and caring conversations about peace and activism in our troubled times.

Young Writers Contest

Our 2020 Young Writers Contest will begin accepting entries on September 1st. We invite teachers to make our contest a part of your regular writing curriculum. Contact us at editor@writingforpeace.org.

Now accepting applications to our Panel of Advisers

Among our panel members are poets, novelists, memoirists, and essayists – artists who have achieved a level of personal integrity in their work that inspires each of us to search for our own truth. Some panel members inspire us through their life choices, perhaps recognizing a calling toward peace after they were already well established in other careers. They show us that it is never too late to find personal fulfillment in working toward a greater good.

Advisers will be asked to contribute periodically to our blog and DoveTales Online Journal, and help with the local promotion of Writing for Peace events, publications, and readings.

Please send resumes and letters of intent to editor@writingforpeace.org.


Keep the faith and keep on writing!

Poetry       Fiction       Nonfiction       Art & Photography       Young Writers    About DoveTales      Submissions    

Copyright © 2019 Writing for Peace. All rights reserved.

DoveTales Online, Issue 1 – August 2019

Our first issue of DoveTales Online is up!

DoveTales, a publication of Writing for PeaceSince 2013, Writing for Peace has invited writers and artists from all over the globe to explore themes within the context of current events. Their responsespoetry, fiction, nonfiction, art and photographytell us something about the nature of humanity. We learn from each other. We share our joys and grief, empathy and compassion, the wisdom of years and youth, and the dream of a world that is healthy and diverse, with equality and justice for every sentient beingwhether or not they can afford political lobbyists. This philosophy resulted in a collection of beautiful print booksOccupied, Contrast, Nature, Family and Cultural Identity, Refugees and the Displaced, and Empathy in Art: Embracing the Otherthat educate, inspire, and challenge us.

We continue this tradition with our new online journal, celebrating the community we have built together, and supporting each other in our efforts to leave this world a better place for future generations—and being online, we can do it with more color, audio and videos!

In this, our first issue of DoveTales Online, you’ll find our 2019 Young Writers Contest Winners, as well as poetry, prose, and visual art that delves into our Guest Editor, Patricia Jabbeh Wesley’s theme: “One World, One People.” If this theme seems incongruous with our daily news, make a cup of tea, get comfortable, and find out what her thought process was in choosing it. Thank you for joining us in the debut of DoveTales, An International Online Journal of the Arts!

Check out DoveTales Online Now ~

 

Copyright © 2019 Writing for Peace. All rights reserved.

DoveTales Online, Issue 1, One World, One People

DoveTales, a publication of Writing for PeaceThe first online DoveTales launches on August 1st, 2019, and includes our Young Writers Contest Winners. Our Guest Editor is Writing for Peace Adviser Patricia Jabbeh Wesley, and she has chosen the beautiful theme “One World, One People.”

DoveTales, An International Journal of the Arts is an extension of our mission to promote writing that explores the many aspects of peace.  Our goal is to expose young writers to a diverse collection of thoughtful works by our advisers, established, and emerging writers.

DoveTales includes art and photography, as well as poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, occasionally including interviews with writers and individuals working to promote peace through environmental, human rights, and  social justice activism.

Copyright © 2019 Writing for Peace. All rights reserved.

DoveTales Reading Period Open

The DoveTales Online reading period will open on August 1st, 2019, and close on November 1st, 2019. This, the second issue of our online journal will be published on February 1st, 2020. Our guest editor is Writing for Peace Adviser Robert Kostuck. He has chosen the theme of “Gardens in the Desert: Cultivating Awareness.”  Check our Guidelines for further information.

DoveTales, An International Journal of the Arts is an extension of our mission to promote writing that explores the many aspects of peace.  Our goal is to expose young writers to a diverse collection of thoughtful works by our advisers, established, and emerging writers.

DoveTales includes art and photography, as well as poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, occasionally including interviews with writers and individuals working to promote peace through environmental, human rights, and  social justice activism.

Good things are coming!

Good morning, peace writers!

Hoping you’re all feeling energized by the latest news and not despairing. Good things are happening. Light is shining in dark places. Hidden evils are being revealed. Remember, when horrible news surfaces—over 900 children separated from their parents since this disastrous policy was “ended,” mass shootings becoming commonplace, climate change speeding up and scientists silenced, to name a few—it is because writers and activists are refusing to let them fester in the dark. Hard truths gain power when they are kept secrets, so let’s celebrate the knowing and keep on pushing forward. We’re in this together.

We’re working hard here at Writing for Peace. If you’re reading this on the website, you may have already seen some changes there. The site is looking pretty slicknew event calendar, streamlined format, and mobile responsive. It should be much easier to navigate on any device. All this in preparation for the launch of our beautiful new online DoveTales!

Tomorrow is the big day. DoveTales, An International Journal of the Arts is going online! I’m seeing it take shape here, and it’s absolutely gorgeous. Guest editor Patricia Jabbeh Wesley’s theme, “One World, One People,” has resonated with writers and artists across the globe. You’ll find hard truth, hope, love and laughter in its illuminated pages. And you won’t want to miss our young writers’ beautiful winning poems, essays and stories.

So keep the faith and watch for our new DoveTales tomorrow. We’ll be working right up until it launches, so send a good thought our way.

Wishing you peace and strength,

Carmel

Carmel Mawle is founder of the nonprofit literary organization, Writing for Peace, and has served as Editor-in-Chief of DoveTales, An International Journal of the Arts since 2013. A Pushcart Nominee, her short stories, essays and poetry have been published in literary journals and anthologies, including Smokelong Quarterly and Shake the Tree Anthology.

Copyright © 2019 Writing for Peace. All rights reserved.

2019 Announcements

41716478_541593026272917_3315322037882322944_n (2)Hello friends,

We have some big changes to tell you about! Our Board of Directors is working to make Writing for Peace more accessible to readers all over the globe and whittle away at geographic and language barriers. Coming highlights include:

DoveTales, An International Journal of the Arts

Writing for Peace has published six beautiful print journals, but in 2019, DoveTales is going online. We will publish two issues per year, February 1st and August 1st. You can find the Guidelines here.

2019 Youth Summit

We are inviting translations this year, and working to achieve multilingual participation. The theme for this year’s Youth Summit is “Day By Day, Hand in Hand: Seeing & Creating Peace in Daily Action.” The online event will be held on Saturday, October 12, 2019, 8am-6pm EST and is limited to 50 participants. Submissions must be received by September 15th, 2019. Learn more, here.

2019 Young Writers Contest

Our Young Writers contest is up and running! Winners will be published on August 1st, 2019, in our first online DoveTales, guest edited by Writing for Peace Adviser Patricia Jabbeh Wesley. Check out the Contest Guidelines here.

You’ll see lots of other changes this year, and we’ll keep you apprised of developments along the way. We’re looking forward to sharing an exciting 2019 with you!

Yours in peace,

Carmel

Carmel Mawle is president and founder of Writing for Peace. She writes from the northern Colorado Rocky Mountains where she lives with her husband and Max, a ten-pound border terrier mix who firmly believes he’s a mountain dog. You can find her blog at www.carmelmawle.com.

Copyright © 2019 Writing for Peace. All rights reserved.

2017 DoveTales Now Available for Preorder

2017 Front CoverDoveTales, An International Journal of the Arts

“Refugees and the Displaced”

Our 2017 Edition of DoveTales is now available for Pre-order. Refugees and the Displaced includes work from artists and writers, established and emerging, from every continent of the globe (except Antarctica). You’ll also find there the winning entries from our 2016 Young Writers Contest.

Featured Adviser is Sam Hamill:

Sam Hamill was born in 1943 and grew up on a Utah farm. He is Founding Editor of Copper Canyon Press and served as Editor there for thirty-two years. He taught in artist-in-residency programs in schools and prisons and worked with Domestic Violence programs. He was the founding editor of Copper Canyon Press, directed the Port Townsend Writers Conference for nine years, and in 2003, founded Poets Against the War. He is the author of more than forty books, including celebrated translations from ancient Chinese, Japanese, Greek and Latin.

Contributors include:

Susanne Aspley, Ross Baxter, Rana Bitar, Mark Blickley, Irene Bloom, Elena Botts, Craig Brandis, Miki Byrne, Lauren Camp, Mark Canfield, Lorraine Caputo, Mary Carroll-Hackett, Maryah Converse, Joe Cottonwood, Edward D. Currelley, Lorraine Currelley, Andrea W. Doray, Suzanne Edison, Martín Espada, Bernadette Gallagher, Rachel Gallagher, Adele Gardner, Nancy Gerber, Anuja Ghimire, Juleus Ghunta, Alexandra Grabbe, Sam Hamill, Max Harris, Cheryl R. Hopson, PhD, Emanuel Kane, James Kincaid, Phyllis Klein, Antonia Alexandra Klimenko, Chris ‘Irish Goat’ Knodel, Robert Kostuck, Adam Kotlarczyk, George Kraus, Bruce Lader, Brett LaFave, Joan Leotta, Cory Lockhart, Shannon K. Lockhart, Randel McCraw Helms, Carmel Mawle, Djelloul Marbrook, Joshua McGarry, Sandra McGarry, Silva Zanoyan Merjanian, Michael Meteyer, Dean K. Miller, E. Ethelbert Miller, Shirley Muir, Barry W. North, Carl “Papa” Palmer, Sophia Panieczko, Frances Park, Jenni Parker Gribble, Olga Pavlinova Olenich, Simon Perchik, Shirani Rajapakse, Pilar Rodríguez-Aranda, Althea Romeo-Mark, Ruth Sabath Rosenthal, Wilderness Sarchild, Deirdre Smith, Marydale Stewart, Sugar Tobey, Mercedes Webb-Pullman, Lindsey Weishar, Noah Weisz, Patricia Jabbeh Wesley, Cassondra Windwalker, Barry Zabell

Learn more about our contributors here.

2016 Young Writers Contest Winners:

Fiction: Vivian Zhao, 1st; Julianna Lee, 2nd; Jake Pritchett, 3rd

Nonfiction: Jared Anwar, 1st; Grace Choi, 2nd; Jaeeun Kim, 3rd

Poetry: Lisa Zou, 1st; Lydia Chew, 2nd; Ritika Bharati, 3rd

Art and Photography by:
Amy Bassin, Mark Blickley, Lorraine Currelley, Allen Forrest, SK Lockhart, Mohammad Ali Mirzaei, Farima Qolami

Front Cover: Allen Forrest, Face In The Crowd, Ink, Previously Published in Tidal Basin Review, Issue Winter 2015

Order your copies of DoveTales now here.

 

Copyright © 2017 Writing for Peace. All rights reserved.

 

A Special Peace Correspondent: The Coming Student Edition, by Elissa Tivona

elissa-tivona-3With the snow recently melted, the first crocuses that break through packed patches of dirt seem, in a word, impossible. I am awed that nature understands how hungry the human heart is for the green promise of growing things. Those tender, fierce flowers awaken a yearning I barely notice at other times of the year.

Likewise in sleepy winter months when the Peace Journalism course gets underway, the intensity and resolve that drove me to create a new curriculum lie dormant. I start out with reasonable intentions: to explore news media’s complicity in shaping violent environments and to teach students methods for turning that woeful trend around.  I craft assignments pointing students toward enlightened, alternative approaches for reporting news, that ask young reporters to elevate social solutions rather than feature stories of persistent strife. But, by the concluding weeks of the semester, I am ready to jump out of my skin. I’ve been staring into too many faces dulled by too many years of schooling and too little inspiration. I have days when I leave campus dispirited and think, “Why bother? This is just not working.”

Still, I keep pushing and prodding up until the day they submit a final assignment. Their challenge is to tell an extended, multi-dimensional, nuanced story; to avoid demonizing one stakeholder over another; and to reach for promising solutions—case studies, prototypes, models, social experiments, moments of insight— real news stories of real people who expend energy in efforts to heal and solve some of the greatest challenges of our day.

And, behold, the crocuses start to emerge.

I offer results of this pedagogical experiment: student stories that point to possibility for new media. These are the green and growing insights of a new generation of young writers.  You will notice a range of voices: some with sustained and focused messages, others that falter.  But each effort loosens the soil, making a little more room for media that nourish hope and dignity rather than perpetuate violent conflict and infamy.

Look ahead to the June edition of The Peace Correspondent, highlighting the work of Colorado State University students. These novice writers feature articles in four categories: Take Another Look, longstanding conflict and new perspectives; Heart to Heart, conversations on challenging topics; On Our Minds, where news media and mental health intersect; and The Peace Correspondent’s regular column Spotlight on Solutions.  Go in peace, friends, spring is here.

Elissa J. Tivona is a renegade journalist who believes media can be part of the solution to achieving sustained peace. She helped establish the Peace and Reconciliation minor at Colorado State University: and she developed the innovative curriculum for the program’s core course, Education for Global Peace, as well as curriculum for a new Journalism offering at CSU, Journalism, War and Peace. Along with her work as an educator, Tivona writes for both academic and popular publications. She is an active volunteer, including: serving on the Board of Writing For Peace; vice-president of the United Nations Association, Northern Colorado Chapter; consultant to Tiyospaye Winyan Maka, an NGO building sustainable homesteads and right livelihoods in collaboration with the Lakota people; and longstanding convener of multi-faith peace advocates in Northern Colorado.

Small Writing for Peace logoWriting for Peace News

Coming Soon! Our 2017 DoveTales, “Refugees and the Displaced”

2017 Front CoverThe fifth edition of our annual literary journal, DoveTales, An International Journal of the Arts, will be released on May 1st. Our “Refugees and the Displaced” themed DoveTales is a timely affront to a status quo comfortable with the suffering of others. With contributors from every continent on the planet except Antarctica (we’re working on that), this is a book that is meant to challenge assumptions and explore issues of peace, social justice, and our responsibility to our fellow man. Cover art is by Canadian artist, Allen Forrest. Watch for more information as it becomes available in the next few days on our website, and mark May 1st on your calendar!

 

Young Writers Contest Results

Results are coming on our 2017 Young Writers contest. Announcements will be made on May 1st here in our blog. Stay tuned for the excitement!

Copyright © 2017 Writing for Peace. All rights reserved.

 

DoveTales “Nature” Release, and 2015 Contest Winners

2015 post Header2015 Book Release

Our 2015 DoveTales, an International Journal of the Arts, “Nature” Edition is now available for purchase! The “Nature” edition is our largest undertaking to date, with 82 wonderful contributors, plus our nine Young Writers Contest Winners from 2014. The book is 398 glorious pages. Special thanks goes to Colgate University Research Council for their generous sponsorship.

DoveTales "Nature" Cover

Contributors include:

Jordi Alonso, Pilar Rodríguez Aranda, Jasmine V. Bailey, Pratima Annapurna Balabhadrapathruni, Danny P. Barbare , Zeina Hashem Beck , Sarina Bosco, Elena Botts, Bredt Bredthauer, Lauren Camp, Hélène Cardona, Ariella Carmell, Mary Carroll-Hackett, William Cass, Yuan Changming, Jennifer Clark, Edward D. Currelley, Lorraine Currelley, Darlene P. Campos, Maija Rhee Devine (이매자), Virginia Bach Folger, Stuart Friebert, Eve Gaal, Kelle Grace Gaddis, Frederick Glaysher, Sharon Goodier, Ben Gunsberg, Sam Hamill, William Haywood Henderson, Jane Hertenstein, Don Hogle, Qumyka Rasheeda Howell, Elizabeth Hoyle, A.J. Huffman, Lauren Kessler, Ross Knapp, Page Lambert, Charles Leggett, Vicki Lindner, Cory Lockhart, Shannon K. Lockhart, John C. Mannone, Mark Mansfield, Jeremy Nathan Marks, Kevin Patrick McCarthy, Sandra McGarry, Dean K. Miller, Mark J. Mitchell, Roseville Nidea, Stephanie Noble, Barry W. North, Cheryl Pearson, Adrienne Pine, Jeannine Pitas, Jessica Placinto, David S. Pointer, Laura Pritchett, Claudia Putnam, Lisa Rizzo, Nicholas Alexander Roos, Sy Roth, Elizabeth Schultz, Tshombe Sekou, Alan Semrow, Annette Marie Smith, Patty Somlo, Howard F. Stein, Fred Tarr, Samantha Terrell, Jari Thymian, Debra Lynn Turner, Smriti Verma, Wang Ping, Jing M. Wang, Mercedes Webb-Pullman, Laura Grace Weldon

Art and Photography by

Chrystal Berche, Sylvia Freeman, Kevin Houchin, Paula Dawn Lietz, Carl Scharwath, Christopher Woods

Plus 2014 Young Writers Contest Winners:

Fiction: Angela Yoon, 1st; Jiace Cai, 2nd; Cassidy Cole, 3rd
Nonfiction: Ben Gershenfeld, 1st; Evan Kielmeyer, 2nd; Yen Nguyen, 3rd
Poetry: Dashiell Yeatts-Lonske, 1st; Matthew Rice, 2nd; John Vernaglia, 3rd

Editor: Carmel Mawle
Associate Editors: Craig Mawle, Phillip M. Richards, Willean Denton Hornbeck, Le Hornbeck, Michelle Catherine
Contributing Editor: Andrea W. Doray

Small Writing for Peace logo2015 Young Writers Contest Winners

2015 Young Writers Contest Judges2015 Contest Judges

We would like to acknowledge all of the young writers who took the time to research a new culture and write a story, essay, or poem for the Writing for Peace Young Writers Contest. Completing this challenge is no small achievement, and we salute your commitment to expanding your knowledge base and developing your craft. We would also like to thank the teachers and mentors who encouraged their students to take our challenge, and then inspired and guided them to prepare their best work. We were tremendously impressed with the quality of all the entries this year.

In Fiction

First Place: “Haozhen” by Tiffany Wang
Denton, Texas, USA

Second Place: “Between Islands” by Janghwan Bae
Bundang-gu, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea

Third Place: “Ronin: the Fallen Samurai” by Moon Hyung Lee
Seoul, South Korea

In Nonfiction

First Place: “A Reason for Hope” by Min Seong Kim
Fairfax, Virginia, USA

Second Place: “Jews and the Black Death” by Hannah Rosenthal
Hauppauge, New York, USA

Third Place: “The Problems of Stressful Educational System in Singapore” by Vincent Yohanes, Indonesia

In Poetry

First Place: “The Third Daughter” by Allie Spensley
Avon Lake, Ohio, USA

Second Place: “A Red Eulogy” by Lisa Zou
Chandler, Arizona, USA

Third Place: “Terrorism, an unknown entity” by Moiz Khan
Roanoke, VA, USA, Pakistani exchange student

2015 winning entries will be published in our 2016 DoveTales. Participation Certificates and Awards will be sent out next week. Be sure to watch our blog and Facebook page to learn more about these talented young writers, and what our judges had to say about their work. We would like to thank our prestigious panel of judges: Antonya Nelson, fiction; Steve Almond, Nonfiction; Stephen Kuusisto, poetry.

Congratulations to all our contest winners!

Copyright © 2015 Writing for Peace. All rights reserved.

Writing for Peace News, May 2012

DoveTales Submission Guidelines Released

Our June 1st posting begins an exciting new phase for Writing for Peace. First, we are announcing the release of the DoveTales Submission Guidelines.  DoveTales will feature our young writers’ winning stories, along with the stories, poems, essays, interviews, art and photography of established contributors. Our first issue will be published on January 1st, 2013, and will center on the theme “Occupied” – in its myriad of meanings.

Free Teen Summer Writing Workshops

Writing for Peace Wolf Writing WorkshopWe’ve also put together a terrific series of Free Teen Summer Writing Workshops, offered in libraries across Colorado’s Front Range. Young writers will focus on subtleties of the craft, while considering voice and point-of-view through the perspective of wild animals in urban environments, wolves, and other pack animals. Participants will also have the opportunity to hear stories of refugees of the human sort, and contemplate the many ways that the seeds of a story can take root and grow. Check our site periodically to catch new offerings as they appear.

Young Writers Rocky Mountain Creative Writing Day Camp

The summer workshop series will culminate in the unforgettable Young Writers Rocky Mountain Creative Writing Day Camp onWriting for Peace cowboys September 8th from 9am – 8pm at Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch, featuring keynote speakers John Gritts, Page Lambert, and William Haywood Henderson. The cost for this full day writing workshop is $65. There is an additional charge of $50 for the Horseback Writing Class (Poetry in the Saddle). Young writers, ages 13 – 19, delve into both the cowboy and Indian way of life, explore the written and oral traditions of these Western Americans, and the animals that were vital to both cultures. We’ll experience the late summer beauty of this working ranch nestled against the Rocky Mountains, walk a mile in another’s moccassins…and put that experience into words.

Fiction, nonfiction, or poetry…writers will explore aspects of point of view and voice, and outline future writing projects. After dinner, writers will be invited to share their work around the campfire. Space is limited, so please register early!

Writing for Peace Rocky Mountain Creative Writing Day Camp at Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch

Writing for Peace Rocky Mountain Creative Writing Day Camp at Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch

 

Workshop includes…

*Continental breakfast, ranch lunch, and workshop supplies

*Traditional horse painting and riding demonstration

*Poetry in the saddle (horseback writing, additional $50)

*Tractor-drawn hayride tour and ranch talk

*Cowboy poetry reading (ever read your work to a cow?)

*We’ll end our day camp with a campfire reading, pizza and roasted marshmallows!

Download the brochure and registration form here.  Writing for Peace Summer Camp Brochure

 

Contributing Advisor, Brian Wrixon

And perhaps the best news of all…

If you’ve had the opportunity to explore the Writing for Peace website, you’ve most likely come across our impressive list of Advisors. From the beginning, we’ve been blessed with advisors who were available to answer questions and guide us as we navigated through unfamiliar territory. Our growing Advisory Panel includes award-winning poets, novelists, memoirists and essayists. They are activists and entrepreneurs of immense personal integrity and determination, some who may not even consider themselves writers in the traditional sense, but their writings have played a vital role in promoting awareness and bridging the cultural divides that separate us. In addition to their important work and behind-the-scenes support for Writing for Peace, they have graciously agreed to contribute their insights and inspiration through our blog.

We are pleased to introduce our very first Contributing Advisor, Brian Wrixon. For his full biography and a links to his publications, please check out his Advisor Page.

 

Brian Wrixon, Writing for Peace AdvisorCommentary by Brian Wrixon – poet, writer, publisher, and member of Writing for Peace’s Advisory Panel

I know that Writing for Peace will play an important role in building harmony in the world. Our process is a logical one and a simple one, two, three approach  –  cultivate empathy in order to develop a foundation of compassion, and on this foundation, build peace. Using education as the driver for the process is not something new, but focusing on creative writing and gearing that focus towards our youth is what makes Writing for Peace unique. That uniqueness is what prompted me to agree when I was asked to serve on the organization’s Advisory Panel.

One of the points made on the website is that, “Writing can be a solitary occupation, but there is much to be gained by sharing your work and process with other writers.” I have experienced this firsthand in the last few months. Through Facebook, I am connected with an incredible number of authors from all over the world. I asked them to share their works with me for the purpose of publishing a series of anthologies on different themes. The response was amazing!

Our first book will be of particular interest to the members and supporters of Writing for Peace. It is called “The Poetry of War & Peace”, and features the writings of 80 poets from 20 countries. Many of these authors are young people still in school and before this book, were unpublished. What struck me most was the intensity with which they wrote. On the back cover of the book you can find the following: “Theirs is a powerful message. Their feelings run deep and their words are strong, sometimes not for the faint of heart. But then again, war and peace are not for the faint of heart either. WARNING: CONTAINS CONTENT THAT MAY CAUSE AN OUTBREAK OF PEACE!” It is no small wonder that I named our Facebook support group of 450+ writers, Poets with Voices Strong.

When I looked at Writing for Peace’s mission, the approach that they intended to take, and the value proposition that they were offering to young writers, I knew that the experience that I had with my international writers group was something that could be replicated. I look forward to working with this group and seeing that excitement grow in other young people through creative writing.

I seem to spend a lot of time working on my publishing projects, but I am first and foremost a poet. At this writing, we have published two major anthologies so far and two more are about to be released in the next month, but I still try to find time to write. I have written a lot of poetry about war, some 50 poems to be exact. They were not written to glorify war, but to foster peace. In that respect, I find myself  living in synch with the mission statement of Writing for Peace. Please allow me to share with you one of my personal favourites from my collection of war poems.

In the Morning Mist

Morning mists swirl around marble headstones

Like the spirits of the dead who play among the tombs

The call of a crow breaks the eerie silence

As a frail and bent figure approaches the grave

She places a single rose on the cold and weathered stone

Softly she speaks the words “My Love”

And lingers a moment lost in a silent prayer

As she leaves the sun shines through the mist

And illuminates the words chiseled so long ago

“A Victim of the Great War”

I have always had a great fascination for the “Great War for Civilization”, the “War to end all wars”, WW1. What a hopelessly futile waste of men and material. Thousands were killed on a daily basis in order to secure a plot of ground which would then be abandoned a few days later. Millions of men were moved about like chess pieces by commanders and generals sitting in the comfort of far away headquarters smoking cigars and sipping brandy. We never learn!

When I wrote “In the Morning Mist”, I was unsure who the frail and bent old lady was who was mourning at the grave all those many years later. Perhaps her lover or husband had not returned from the conflict. Perhaps she was a mother who had lost a son. Perhaps she was a retired nurse who still held special feelings for a young soldier who had died in her arms in a field hospital, happy to have her comfort at his death. Then I realized that she was all these women – she is the grieving woman of history personified.

I use my creative writings to express my feelings. I hope that through your involvement with Writing for Peace, you will have the same opportunity to connect with yourself and with your fellow writers.

Brian Wrixon

Burlington, Ontario, Canada

 

Copyright © 2012 Writing for Peace. All rights reserved.